As a Sales Trainer and Coach I work with business owners and professionals on their sales process. The process tracks the steps from interested to sold. There are several meaningful steps along the way, but the one where the seller often slips and loses the sale is in establishing the need.
This step is after you’ve established some sort of relationship with your prospect and are now looking to see if a need for your solution exists. Now you might be thinking that you wouldn’t even be talking with the person if the need didn’t exist and that’s probably true. However, how strong is the need that brought this prospect to you? That’s what you need to know. Furthermore, you need to keep on exploring to determine how many other needs exist and how important are they.
Before we get to how to do this properly, let’s examine a few mistakes new salespeople often make. The first one is to jump on the first need that reveals itself, then go for the sale. Whoa! The first need might be the weakest one in the bunch and hardly worth investing in your solution to solve. And you know what happens if you propose marriage before the other person’s ready? Bye bye.
Another rookie mistake is to be satisfied with a logical need. Let’s say you’re selling solar. Well, the logical need is to replace the utility company with your own power generating capability. All right, solar can do that. But at what cost? I spoke with a client last week that determined that a solar unit on their facility would take 20 years to pay off. That was too long for them. However, chances are the facility will still be there 20 years from now and they would be saving money all along the way exchanging their investment cost with what they pay the utility company.
When sales are based purely on logic they often fall apart. Did you know that it’s just about impossible to make money buying a hybrid vehicle? The price premium for these cars exceeds the fuel savings. So then why are so many being sold? Because the buyers are emotionally attached to being green. Ah, so there’s a key understanding. Get to the emotional needs of the buyer.
You uncover needs by asking questions. Emotional needs aren’t generally revealed in a first pass. Thus, you, the questioner needs to probe further when a need is discovered. Ask questions like, “And why is that important?” or “And what will that do for you?” You can actually ask these questions over and over until you get to the real emotional need underlying it all. Bingo!
Keep establishing needs until you have at least 2 needs. Better yet, go for 3 needs with at least one being emotional if not two. If you’ll be this diligent during this part of the sales process you will make more sales.
If you have any questions about this or my ongoing Sales Mastery program, which is ideal for those who are not seasoned sales professionals, give me a shout or comment below.